Uncle Max: The Year in Review and Postseason Preview

A look back at a season of weekly picks from Spade Racing’s writer/webmaster/janitor Mike Mackler’s uncle.

The 2017 season is over, and not a moment too soon!  Things are really ramping up at work for the holidays, to say nothing of friends and family.  My nephew Mike has told me that he’ll be providing weekly long-form pieces all throughout the offseason, and that you should check in regularly to see what’s coming up next.
But that’s not the best part—guess what?  I’m coming back in 2018!!!  That’s right, I’ll be providing picks again just like this year, next year.  Apparently Mike is considering some sort of “competition”, but my results speak for themselves:

Anyways, here’s how my picks did for the entire year:

Truck Series—5 wins

Xfinity Series—7 wins

Cup Series FAVORITE—5 wins  NEXT FAVORITE—3 wins  DARK HORSE—1 win

Jimmy Spencer Claims Dale Earnhardt Jr. Never Existed

While most of Nascar used today to bid farewell to the wildly popular Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s full-time Cup racing career, former driver and longtime irritant Jimmy Spencer expressed doubt that Earnhardt Jr.’s career, personality, and corporeal being ever truly existed.
The voice of reason

“There’s no way a driver could come along and succeed like he did in his father’s shadow, even with lots of help from Nascar”, Spencer said, touching upon his claims in 2001 that Earnhardt Jr.’s Summer Daytona win was somehow “rigged” by Nascar.  “Its far more likely that Nascar needed someone to assume the mantle of Dale Sr.’s folksy, down-home leadership, and they created Dale Jr. to take that role out of whole cloth.”
Spencer, who is relatively removed from the sport he once competed in, seemed to base his beliefs off of several so-called “coincidences” over Dale Jr.’s career.
“Nascar needed Dale Jr. to succeed, but he didn’t—you know why?  Because the actor portraying him at the time wasn’t a professional racer”, Spencer said in reference to Earnhardt Jr.’s mid-career slump after moving to Hendrick Motorsports.  “I mean, come on—any REAL racer could’ve won in that 88 car, so why couldn’t Dale Jr.?  Its simple—because he wasn’t a real racer, and wasn’t real at all.  Just smoke and mirrors.”
Spencer has made controversial statements in the past, most-famously claiming that he wouldn’t welcome Toyota to Nascar since “…these sons-of-bitches bombed Pearl Harbor”, despite having previously raced for German-owned DaimlerChrysler.  However, the statements about Dale Jr.’s lack of existence have taken things to a new level.
“My guess is that Dale Jr. was portrayed by a number of actors, out-of-work drivers, and the occasional robot”, Spencer explained.  “All those times Dale Jr. refused to talk to me in the 00’s, it was just because his robotic DNA didn’t recognize me—and I never forget such things, I’ll remind you.”

When reached for comment, Dale Earnhardt Jr. confirmed that he was, in fact, in existence and had been so since 1974.  He also said he looks forward to spending his retirement as an elder-statesmen of the sport raising his family in comfort and security.

Uncle Max: Homestead Championship Weekend Picks

Weekly picks from Spade Racing’s writer/webmaster/janitor Mike Mackler’s uncle.

Well, its almost time to wrap things up for the 2017 season, my first making picks for my nephew’s website.  I’d just like to take some time to thank each and every one of you who’s checked-in every week to see my thoughts on racing, bearing with me as I learned as I went.  I’d especially like to thank my nephew Mike for letting me share my gambling knowledge with a brand-new audience.  And a special thank you to anyone who’s followed my advice all season long—you can mail your checks to me anytime you’d like, heh-heh.
Anyways, here’s my picks for the upcoming race weekend at Homestead (total wins in parenthesis):

Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 (5 wins)—Christopher Bell—the next big thing leaves the Truck Series on top.

Xfinity Series Ford EcoBoost 200 (7 wins)—Elliott Sadler—a fuel gamble gives a surprise win to the wily vet.

Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400:  FAVORITE (5 wins)—Kyle Busch—His FIRST championship in a full-season—sounds weird, doesn’t it?  NEXT FAVORITE (2 wins)—Martin Truex Jr.—even a convoluted points championship can’t stop one of the most-dominant performances of the modern era.  DARK HORSE* (1 win!)—Dale Earnhardt Jr.—yeah, yeah, I know.

*—NOTE—during the Cup Playoffs, a Dark Horse must be a driver who is out of championship contention.

N4sc4r Survivor Series

Non-Fatal Fourway for the Truck Series Championship—“Jumpin’” Johnny Sauter vs. Austin “AC” Cindric vs. Matt “Mr. Consistency” Crafton vs. Christopher Bell-“Ringer”

Main Show Undercard:
Four Driver Elimination Match for the Xfinity Series Championship—“#1” Elliott Sadler vs. Justin “Thunder” Allgaier vs. William “Lord” Byron vs. Daniel “Jobber” Hemric

Couples Tag-Team Match: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. & Danica Patrick vs. Contest Winner and Jennifer Jo Cobb

Main Event Survivor Series Matches:
Team Penske (Bad Brad Keselowski, Joey Jo Jo Logano Shabadoo Jr., Flyin’ Ryan Blaney & Paul Menard-burns) vs. The Alliance to End Penskemania (Matt “Will Race for Revenge” Kenseth, Kevin “Happy” Harvick, Formerly Flyin’ Ryan Newman & The Masked Missourian)

The Official Underdogs (Stormin’ The Landon Cassill, Tha Dinger, Matty D from Californee, and Jeremy “Spoke Up” Clements) vs. The Underachievers (Trevor “No Nickname” Bayne, Clint Bowyer-dee, Kasey “Mr. 95” Kahne & Kurt “I did win this year, y’know” Busch)

The JGR Outlaws (Rowdy Kyle Busch, Denny “I’m Sorry” Hamlin, Daniel “Smilin’” Suarez & Erik “Mulletron” Jones) vs. Hendrick’s Hosses (Jimmie “The Old Man” Johnson, Ace Chase Elliott, Lord William Byron & Alex “The Replacement” Bowman)

Timmy Hill Knows Just What He’d Do If He Was Running for the Championship at Homestead

Unprompted, part-time Nascar driver Timmy Hill informed a group of motorsports reporters today what he’d do if he happened to be running in next weekend’s “Championship Race” at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“Its something that I’ve played out in my mind hundreds of times”, the Port Tobacco, Maryland native told the uninterested group of reporters.  “I’d make sure my pit crew was ready for anything, and I’ve have my PR guy completely clear my schedule so I had NO distractions at all—I’d be as ready as I’d ever be.”
Hill appeared to have a concrete vision as to how he’d handle the intense pressure of the “Winner Take All” race, despite the fact that he has yet to post a win, top-five, top-ten, or pole in Nascar’s premiere series.
“I’d get my media obligations out of the way on Sunday morning—I know how important you reporters are to my career”, Hill told the assembled media, most of which were looking at their smartphones at the time.  “Then once I stepped into my car, it would be nothing but me and checkered flag as my only goal.  Everything would be focused on winning that race, AND the championship for me, my team, and my many, many sponsors and fans.”
Hill also seemed to be prepared for any possible on-track drama that could come in the race, despite it being quite different from his usual drama of trying to run a race on two sets of tires.
“If Kyle Busch tried to rub me into the wall”, Hill said, “I’d throw the car right back at him—BAM!  I bet that would give you guys something great to write about, right?”
Hill then realized that the media members he was talking at had migrated over towards a TV showing a local news interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s backup jackman.

Uncle Max: Phoenix Weekend Picks

Weekly picks from Spade Racing’s writer/webmaster/janitor Mike Mackler’s uncle.

Thanksgiving is coming up, and I think its about time to go over some holiday ettiequte for sports fans:
—Arrive Early—this way you can duck out early to catch the 4pm NFL game.

—Work Black Friday—get enough of a reputation for working the day after Thanksgiving and you’ll never have people question why you’re leaving at 3pm ever again.

—Don’t Drink—unless you want a repeat of The Lions Upset Incident of ’13 (if my ex-wife is reading this, c’mon, YOU bought the beer).

—Sit at the End—that way its easier to check your smartphone under the table.

Anyways, here’s my picks for the upcoming race weekend at Phoenix (total wins in parenthesis):

Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 (5 wins)—Christopher Bell—the kid keeps rolling.

Xfinity Series Ticket Galaxy 200 (7 wins)—Matt Tifft—a going away present to his crew at JGR.

Cup Series Can-Am 500k:  FAVORITE (5 wins)—Kyle Busch—one way to create cut-line drama?  Make sure none of the cut-line drivers can win.  NEXT FAVORITE (2 wins)—Kevin Harvick—The Closer closes in on another championship battle.  DARK HORSE*—Matt Kenseth—with nothing to lose, why not shoot for the moon?

*—NOTE—during the Cup Playoffs, a Dark Horse must be a driver who is out of championship contention.


Wednesday November 8th sees the premiere of the documentary “Danica” on Epix (8pm ET).  Here’s what you can expect from the special:

—Discussion of her IndyCar career, framed by an unbiased, measured spoken word piece by Todd Harris.

—Explanation as to why she decided to move to Nascar, summed up by “GoDaddy wanted me to”.

—Treating her Daytona 500 pole win on the level as Amelia Earhart’s first flight across the Atlantic and Marie Curie’s work in the field of radiation.

—Focus on her scintillating feuds with David Ragan, Kyle Petty, and Jay Mohr.

—Explanation as to how her arguing with a fan at Pocono was actually an allegory for her struggle to be accepted by the greater public at-large, or something.

—A bunch of awkward blurring-out of Nature’s Bakery logos.

Matt Kenseth Allegedly Stealing Office Supplies from Joe Gibbs Racing

A recent Spade Racing investigation has revealed that as part of his plans for leaving Joe Gibbs Racing after this season, driver Matt Kenseth has begun allegedly helping himself to a number of office supplies at the race shop.
“It started right after Coach (Joe Gibbs) announced Matt wasn’t coming back”, an unidentified JGR office worker told us via email.  “The next day, we noticed that we were missing a few paperclips—nothing big, but usually we have to replenish our supply once a month, and pretty soon it was once a week.”
Sources have told us that Kenseth has been seen smuggling staplers and rolls of Scotch tape out of the offices at the end of his work days, as well as possibly using an old Smirnoff Ice blanket in the back seat of his car to conceal a cache of printer ink that went missing in early October.
“Matt’s still the same great guy he was before—always checking in with everyone he sees”, said a JGR receptionist who requested anonymity to contribute to this story.  “However, he walked out with a whole ream of printer paper last Tuesday—just took it out in a canvas bag when he left the shop that day.  Its getting pretty blatant—one of the fab(rication department) guys said he saw Matt eyeballing a bunch of old JJ Yeley pens he used to keep notes.
“Quite frankly, there isn’t much value in what he’s stealing—if he is, of course”, the receptionist continued.  “I think its more of a principle thing for Matt—he gave a lot to this organization over the years, and to be replaced by a young kid who had an ironic mullet is definitely a slap in the face.  If taking a bunch of scissors for home use is how he deals with that, so be it.”

Kenseth refused comment for this story.

Uncle Max: Texas Weekend Picks

Weekly picks from Spade Racing’s writer/webmaster/janitor Mike Mackler’s uncle.
Welllllll, that was quite a battle last Sunday, huh?  Two guys who you never expected to go at it went toe-to-toe, and the carnage was amazing!  Of course I’m talking about the brawl that happened at work!
The old saying goes “nobody wants to hear about your work stories, unless you’re fired, you meet a celebrity, or there’s punches thrown”.  Well, one of those three things happened on Sunday morning right before we opened the store.  The night manager was just finishing up setting up the store for opening and I guess he was in quite the bad mood, which is strange since he usually loves talking fantasy sports with me.  Anyways, one of the managers-in-training said something about the floor display being done the wrong way, and the voices and tempers flared up pretty quickly.  Next thing you know the store manager stopped his talk about holiday overtime and was trying to break the two of them up before another punch was landed.  Oh, and that battle in the race was pretty exciting too!

Anyways, here’s my picks for the upcoming race weekend at Texas (total wins in parenthesis):

Truck Series JAG Metals 350 (5 wins)—Matt Crafton—new contract, same steady results.

Xfinity Series O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge (7 wins)—William Byron—stepping up on the big tracks leading up to his shot in Cup

Cup Series AAA Texas 500:  FAVORITE (5 wins)—Martin Truex Jr.—I probably should’ve been picking him more this year anyways.  NEXT FAVORITE (2 wins)—Kyle Busch—likely a win with far less drama this time.  DARK HORSE*—Kyle Larson—“hey guys—if not for a bum engine, I’d be battling Truex for the title”.

*—NOTE—during the Cup Playoffs, a Dark Horse must be a driver who is out of championship contention.